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Live Bold, Speak Bold July 5, 2010

Posted by theronwatson in Uncategorized.
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2 Timothy 1:1-12
Second Timothy is Paul’s last letter written before he died. Timothy had been a faithful friend and prodigee for many years. He was important to Paul for his ministry. He cared for Paul while he was in chains. Timothy came from a Godly family and had an obvious calling on his life. In this section of his final letter, Paul writes to encourage Timothy to continue in his good works of ministry and service and reminds him of his Godly heritage. Paul encouraged Timothy to live boldly and to speak boldly without fear of consequences.
There are always consequences. If you do nothing, there are consequences. If you do something, there are consequences. The question is always which is the greater risk. It is always a ratio of risk and reward. In the Christian life, it is always right to live boldly and speak earnestly for Christ. Paul charged Timothy with living boldly for Christ by remembering his family heritage. He had an example of sincere faith in his grandmother Lois and in his mother Eunice and Paul was convinced that sincere faith lived also in Timothy.
Paul was telling Timothy not to live in fear. In those days it was dangerous to be a Christian. There were mandates that all Christians were to be eliminated. They were hunted down, abused, killed or turned over to the authorities. It was not until about three hundred years after this letter was written that the Emperor Constantine made Christianity the official religion of the Roman world. Until then Christians were persecuted heavily. Paul was encouraging Timothy not to be afraid. He was not to be ashamed. He was to share his faith. He was not to live in fear of practicing the ministry that God had gifted him to perform.
Paul was telling Timothy not be afraid to speak out boldly for God. Paul spoke boldly of God. Paul used his superior training as a Pharisee to persuade many to believe on Jesus. Where once he hunted Christians down with the intent of destroying the whole religion, after his dramatic conversion to Christianity on the road to Damascus his message changed. He did not apologize for his message and he pulled no punches. His strong statements and approach to the spread of the Gospel landed him in trouble with the local religious leaders many times. He absorbed the attacks against him and kept proclaiming the truth. When he found himself in jail or under guard he wrote letters of encouragement to people like Timothy and others. He knew hunger and thirst and discomfort of all kinds, but learned contentment in God’s presence wherever he was.
Paul had no way of knowing that his words and letters would have such a profound impact on countless millions of Christians that would be inspired and find comfort in his words to Timothy. Paul had faith that God had him in chains for a reason. We are the benefactors of that faith. To all who have ever felt the sting of persecution, God used Paul to encourage us all to trust that if God allowed Paul’s chains and used that for good, whatever I am going through must also be for God to accomplish something through me.
We do not have to live in fear. We should not live in fear. We should boldly live out our Christian faith. Without being ashamed to share our faith, without fear of chastisement or penalty, we can live out our faith that others may see our good deeds and praise our Father in heaven. We should always approach ministry and evangelism with a heart of love and compassion. People are lost and dying in their sins only to face an eternity in hell apart from God. We should also speak boldly for Him. We do not have to be timid in our conversations, but we should always be respectful. We can be certain of our faith and convictions without being arrogant or rude. We can share truth without being pushy. There should always be a balance of certainty of conviction with proper understanding of our own low state. We should always include self-discipline to keep us from becoming overzealous in our desire to share truth and taking credit for doing a spiritual thing that has little to do with us.
Our spiritual gifts are not to be used for personal gain, but to build up the kingdom. We are to call all nations unto the Lord. We are to use our gifts to bring people into a saving knowledge of Jesus. We do not coerce or brow beat people into a relationship with Jesus. Rather, through love and understanding, people are persuaded by the Holy Spirit and it is our job to arrange the introduction.
I want to live boldly and speak boldly for Him.



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